Friday, March 27, 2009

Announcing the Inaugural Little Grassy Literary Festival

Announcing the Inaugural Little Grassy Literary Festival
Sponsored by the Graduate Writers Forum, SIUC

featuring readings from and events with Jesse Lee Kerchval, Robert Wrigley, and SIUC MFA grad Greg Schwipps (MFA '98).

Festival Schedule:

April 2
4pm Jesse Lee Kercheval reading
SIUC Student Center Video Lounge 4th Floor

8pm Robert Wrigley reading
SIUC Student Center Video Lounge 4th Floor

April 3
9:30am Panel Discussion with all three readers
SIUC Student Center Auditorium 2nd Floor

11am Greg Schwipps reading
SIUC Student Center Auditorium 2nd Floor

12pm Book signing and reception
SIUC Student Center Old Main Lounge 2nd Floor
Refreshments and Light fare to be provided


Jesse Lee Kercheval is the author of several books, including the poetry collection honoring silent cinema, Cinema Muto, which won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. She also wrote the short story collections The Alice Stories, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, and The Dogeater. A versatile writer, Kercheval also has a novel, a memoir, and a textbook, as well as several other poetry collections to her credit. Other awards include fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Radcliffe Research and Study Center at Harvard, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and more. Kercheval grew up in Florida. Now she is the Sally Mead Hands Bascom Professor of English and a founding director of the master’s of fine arts program in creative writing at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Robert Wrigley has six poetry collections to his credit, including the San Francisco Center Book Award winner, In the Bank of Beautiful Sins, and the 2000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winner Reign of Snakes. He has five Pushcart Prizes, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, Best American Poetry selections and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. Wrigley is originally from a coal mining family from East St. Louis. He is on the creative writing faculty at the University of Idaho.

Greg Schwipps is an SIUC MFA alumnus presently on the creative writing faculty at DePauw University. His novel, What This River Keeps, is due for release later this spring from Ghost Road Press. His essays and articles appear in such publications as In-Fisherman, Outdoor Indiana and Esquire.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Women's Words: A Celebration of Women and the Written Word

A.K. Thompson reads Virginia Woolf and her own work

Amie Whittemore reads Dorianne Laux

Rachel Furey reads Lorrie Moore and her own work

Janelle Blasdel reads Julie Orringer

Melissa Scholes Young reads Anne Panning and her own work

Krishna Pattisapu reads Audre Lorde and her own work

Allison Joseph reads Wendy Cope, Dorothy Parker and her own work

Alberta Skaggs reads Alice Walker and her own work

Azizat Danmole reads AI

SIUC Student Center, Carbondale, IL
Mississippi Room, 4-5 pm
Refreshments to follow reception in Old Main Lounge

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Congrats to Jared (JY) Sexton!

More good news, this time from recent grad Jared (JY) Sexton (MFA '08):

Hey Allison,

Just got word my story "I Know I Am Deathless" will appear in an upcoming issue of the magazine The Benefactor.


The Benefactor

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Congrats to Melissa Scholes Young!

The good news just keeps on coming for first-year fiction writer Melissa Scholes Young:

Hello Allison:

I just got a call from Doug Goetsch, editor of New Plains Review, and I've been invited to do a reading at their magazine's inaugural party. They are awarding me $1000 for the reading and the publication of my story "Guinea Pig." The event is in Oklahoma City in April. He told me to tell you that you are, of course, invited!


New Plains Review

Meet this year's judge: Stacey Lynn Brown

Stacey Lynn Brown was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Her poems, essays, and reviews have been published in Crab Orchard Review, Natural Bridge, Sou’wester, Anti-, and The Southern Quarterly. Her book-length poem in sections, Cradle Song, was published by C&R Press in 2009. Poems from Cradle Song were selected by E. Ethelbert Miller as the second-prize winner of the 14th Annual Poetry Center of Chicago Juried Reading. She teaches creative writing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Announcing the Winners of the 2009 Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest!


Judge Stacey Lynn Brown, poet and author of the collection Cradle Song, has chosen to honor
the following poets and their poems:

1st place: Kate Gramlich for "bride not to be"
2nd place: Kate Gramlich for "six and falling"
3rd place: Joyce Terpstra for "Veteran's Day"
Honorable Mention: Kate Gramlich for "things i should tell you"

1st place: Amie Whittemore for "The Movement of Heat"
2nd place: Andy McFadyen-Ketchum for "To Touch the Moon"
3rd place: Jonathan Travelstead for "For Sean, from the Fire House"
Honorable Mention: Rachel Furey for "Hey, ref, what's up with the mercy rule?" and Travis Mossotti for "Oak Grove Cemetery"

Please join us on Thursday, March 26 at 4pm in the SIUC Student Center Auditorium for the annual contest ceremony, featuring readings from both this year's judge and this year's award-winners.

Monday, March 23, 2009

3/23-3/27: A Week's Worth of Creative Writing Events

Lots of great events happening this week. Here's a roundup:

Monday, March 23: Visiting Writers Series reading with Kathleen Rooney, Kyle Minor and Laura Benedict
SIUC Student Center Ohio Room, 4-5:30 pm

Tuesday, March 24: In-House Readings featuring MFA students Justin Benton, Amie Whittemore, Rick Pechous and Travis Mossotti
SIUC Student Center Thebes Room, 4-5:30 pm

Thursday, March 26: Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest ceremony, featuring readings from the contest judge, poet Stacey Lynn Brown, and this year's prize-winning poets
SIUC Student Center Auditorium, 4-5 pm, with book signing and reception to follow in Old Main Lounge

Friday, March 27: Women's Words. Women students and faculty from the SIUC MFA Program read from their favorite women writers and from their own work. Featuring A.K. Thompson, Amie Whittemore, Rachel Furey, Janelle Blasdel, Melissa Scholes Young, Krishna Pattisapu, Allison Joseph, Alberta Skaggs and Azizat Danmole.
SIUC Student Center Mississippi Room 4-5 pm with reception to follow in Old Main Lounge

Last In-House Reading for Spring 2009

Hello friends,

Our final In-House reading of the spring semester is this Tuesday, March 24th, from 4-5:30 in the Thebes room (Located behind the Blimpie's in the Student Center, I'm told).

Here are the readers for this Tuesday:

4 -- Justin Benton (2nd year fiction)
4:15 -- Amie Whittemore (2nd year poetry)
4:30 -- Rick Pechous (1st year fiction)
4:45 -- Travis Mossotti (2nd year poetry)

Thank you, and we hope to see you there.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Congrats to Melissa Scholes Young!

Melissa Scholes Young (first-year, fiction) has more good news:

Good morning, Allison. Two more good pieces of news have come my way...

Literary Mama has accepted my poem "Wrestle the Octopus" for publication in their May 2009 journal.

Also, my fiction piece "Postpartum Exile" is up at the literary journal

Literary Mama

Congrats, Melissa! Keep the good news coming!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Writers on the Road: U of Memphis edition

A reading announcement from Rachna Sheth (third-year fiction):

On Saturday March 21, Mark Brewin, Rachel Furey, AK Thompson and I will be having an "away game," reading at the University of Memphis at 1:00 pm in Patterson Hall. We are hoping for a good turnout despite the UMemphis vs. Maryland game starting at 2:20. We would like to think listening to us read is more exciting than the first half of a second round NCAA game. There's only one way to find out.

University of Memphis MFA Program

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Upcoming Reading: Minor, Rooney & Benedict

March 23, 2009: Visiting Writers Series presents fiction/nonfiction readings by Kyle Minor, Kathleen Rooney and Laura Benedict
SIUC Student Center Ohio Room, 4-5:30 pm

Novelist Laura Benedict is the author of Isabella Moon, which has been selected as part of Target Stores Breakout Writers promotion, and Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts, both available from Ballantine Books and Brilliance audio. She also co-edits Surreal South, a series anthology of short fiction, with her husband, writer Pinckney Benedict. Her work as appeared in EQMM and other anthologies.

Kyle Minor's work has appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, among them Best American Mystery Stories 2008, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Surreal South, and Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers: The Best New Voices of 2006. Kyle is also co-editor, with Okla Elliott, of The Other Chekhov (New American Press, 2008). His writing has been lauded by The Atlantic Monthly, The Columbus Dispatch, and Random House. Originally from Florida, he now lives in Ohio, where he is Visiting Writer at the University of Toledo.

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and the author of Reading With Oprah (University of Arkansas Press, 2005), Something Really Wonderful (with Elisa Gabbert, dancing girl press, 2007) That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (also with Gabbert, Otoliths, 2008), Oneiromance (an epithalamion) (Switchback Books, 2008), and Live Nude Girl (Arkansas, 2009). Her poems have appeared in AGNI online, 32 Poems , and Cincinnati Review, and her essays have appeared in Gulf Coast, Gettysburg Review, Ninth Letter, Southern Humanities Review and Provincetown Arts. She lives in Chicago.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Alumni Reading Alert: Matt Guenette (MFA '99) to read in St. Louis

4 P.M., Saturday, March 28
Black Bear Bakery, 2639 Cherokee, St. Louis

WORDS ON PURPOSE presents a benefit reading by

Matthew Guenette
author of
Sudden Anthem
a collection of funny, raucous & satirical poems
Rockwell Gray
essayist, biographer and local historian
author of A Century of Enterprise
a history of St. Louis industry

To Support StudioSTL
A free literary arts center empowering St. Louis youth by partnering them with writers who help them discover, develop, and celebrate their individual voices.

Recommended Donation, $5
100% of proceeds go to StudioSTL

Words on Purpose is a committee of socially concerned writers who produce literary readings to support community-based efforts that improve quality of life and promote equality of opportunity.

Congrats to Curtis L. Crisler (MFA '04)

Curtis L. Crisler (MFA '04, poetry) has exciting news!  His second full-length collection of poems, Pulling Scabs, has been accepted for publication by Aquarius Press! Congratulations, Curtis!

Aquarius Press Site
Aquarius Press Blog

R&D: March Madness

R&D: March Madness

"R&D," aka "Reading and Drinking," has the March Madness spirit!

7:00 PM
607 S Illinois Avenue
Carbondale, IL 62901

There'll be words (of poetry, of prose, of admired work) read, activities for the audience, trivia, games, prizes, and much, much more! Come early, come late, all are welcome.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Congrats to JY (Jared) Sexton (MFA '08)

News this afternoon from JY (Jared) Sexton (MFA '08, fiction):


Wanted to drop a note saying my story "Loose Him and Let Him Go" has been accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of the journal Relief. Also, hope you're feeling better and all is well.


Congrats, Jared (and I'm working on getting better)!


Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest Deadline Nears


Join SIUC’s Creative Writing and Women’s Studies Programs as we honor the memory of a wonderful poet and celebrate Women’s History Month.

The Roxana Rivera Memorial Poetry Contest honors the memory of Roxana Rivera (1977-2003), who was a first-year creative writing graduate student from Lynwood, California. Roxana, a graduate of California State University Long Beach, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and English. While at SIUC, Roxana was a PROMPT Scholar and a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of English.

To remember this special woman and poet, a campus-wide poetry contest will be held, with divisions for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Gift certificates will be awarded as prizes in both divisions:
$80 for first place $40 for second place $25 for third place

This contest is open to all students currently enrolled at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Students of all majors are encouraged to participate in this contest.

This Year’s Theme: “Like a Mother, Like a Daughter”

DEADLINE: Friday, March 20, 2009

Submission Guidelines:

Submit an entry packet with:
1) A cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and poem titles. Indicate on your cover sheet whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student.
2) Poem(s) on individual sheets (one poem only per page). No identifying information on the poems themselves, please. There is no entry fee, but there is a limit of three poems per entrant.

The contest theme is provided to spark your creativity, and entries that reflect upon the theme in the lives of women are particularly welcome.

Entry packets should be submitted to Prof. Allison Joseph, English Dept., Faner Hall 2380, Mail Code 4503. Entries may be sent via campus mail or dropped off at the English Department office (Faner Hall 2380) during regular campus office hours. Winners will be honored at a special awards ceremony to be held on March 26, 2009.

In-House Reading Tomorrow!

Janelle Blasdel writes with news of the next In-House Reading:

The second In-House reading of the semester will be held this Tuesday, March 17th , from 4-5:30 in the Missouri River Room of the Student Center.

The line-up of readers is as follows:

Melissa Scholes Young (1st year fiction)
Brenna Lemieux (1st year poetry)
Hannah New (2nd year poetry)
Lane Kareska (1st year fiction)

Thank you, and we hope to see you there.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Invitation from Liz Whiteacre (MFA '02)

Liz Whiteacre (MFA '02 poetry) invites everyone to come hear Curtis Crisler (MFA '04, poetry). Liz currently teaches writing at the College of DuPage.

You are invited to "An Evening with Curtis Crisler" at College of DuPage (425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137) on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 from 7:00-8:30 pm, SRC 1450. To RSVP, so she may send you more information, email Liz Whiteacre at Join us to hear Curtis read from his newest collection, Spill.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More good news from Tim Marsh

Tim Marsh (MFA '06, fiction) writes with more good news:

Hope all is well. I wanted to let the program know that I've been awarded an arts grant by the St. John's City Council and Arts Jury. It's a $1000 grant given to assist organizations and individuals working in the professional and amateur arts. The money is much needed, as always. I've also had a piece accepted for publication in the Canadian literary journal Paragon. Just letting you know.

Hope you had a great and productive time at AWP. Wish I could've made it.




Sunday, March 08, 2009

Adrian Matejka (MFA '01) profiled in St. Louis Post Dispatch

Adrian Matejka (MFA '01, poetry) has been profiled by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as one of three and upcoming St. Louis-area poets:

St. Louis Post Dispatch

Congrats to Justin Hamm!

Good news continues for Justin Hamm (MFA '05, fiction):

Hi, Allison --

Just wanted to let you know that my poem "illinois, my apologies" will appear in volume XI of Plains Song Review. Mom, the new baby and I are celebrating by taking a nap.


Justin Hamm

Congrats to Justin (and family!)

Plains Song Review

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Congrats to Kerry James Evans!

Kerry James Evans (third-year, poetry) writes with this news:

Roger took "How to Avoid an Ambush."

Congrats, KJE!


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Congrats to Melissa Scholes Young!

Melissa Scholes Young, first-year student in fiction, writes with more publication news:

"The New Plains Review has accepted my story "Guinea Pig" for publication in their Spring 2009 issue. 

New Plains Review

Just wanted you to know that my three literary publications this semester have all come from the CRWROPPS listserve. Keep it coming. It's a wonderful resource and you do a great job keeping us informed. Thanks so much for this service!"

Congrats, Melissa, and thanks for the CRWROPPS shout out!

Check out CRWROPPS at
CRWROPPS or click on Creative Writers Opportunities List in the "Useful Links" list on the right.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Joseph featured in new critical book

SIUC poet and professor Allison Joseph is among the writers featured in a new critical book titled Writing the Future of Black America: Literature of the Hip-Hop Generation, written by Daniel Grassian and published by the University of South Carolina Press.

Find out more about this book here (click on "New Titles" link):

University of South Carolina Press

Congrats to Travis Mossotti!

More love for Travis Mossotti, this time via Pittsburgh:


The Fourth River out of Chatham University in Pittsburgh has accepted the following four poems for publication...dang...[ the poems are] “Reminiscing Skyros,” “Creating the Garden,” “I'm Explaining a Few Things” and “Dialogue Box."



No sooner did I post Travis's news than I received this bit of news from Michael Meyerhofer (MFA '06):

Hey, Allison. Just letting you know that a couple pieces, " From One Poet to Another" and "Poem in Which I, and Only I, Get What I Deserve", were just accepted by Another Chicago Magazine. Hope all is well, and congrats again on the book! :)


Congrats to Travis Mossotti!

Travis Mossotti (second-year MFA, poetry) keeps on keeping on:


Another Chicago Magazine has accepted my poem "Glass of Water" for publication. No rest for the weary.



Congrats, Travis!

Another Chicago Magazine

Congrats to Justin Hamm!

Justin Hamm (MFA '05, fiction) has some wonderful news:

I just wanted to pass on some good news to you all. At 5:50 Sunday morning (March 1st) Mel and I welcomed Abigail Josephine Hamm into the world. She and Mom are both healthy and -- if I may say so -- quite beautiful.

Take care,


Congratulations, Justin, to you and your family on the birth of your daughter!

Allison Joseph's sixth full-length collection of poems selected for publication

Allison Joseph, SIUC poet and professor, has had her sixth full-length collection of poetry selected for publication by Western Kentucky University's Steel Toe Books:

Details here:
Steel Toe Books

The same press will be publishing Michael Meyerhofer's (MFA '06) second collection of poems, Blue Collar Eulogies.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

In-House Readings start this Tuesday

This Tuesday, March 3, is the first In-House reading of the spring semester. The reading will be held in the Student Center's Missouri Room from 4 to 5:30.

The schedule is as follows:

Mark Brewin (1st Year Poetry)
Brooks Rexroat (1st Year Fiction)
A.K. Thompson (1st Year Fiction)
Janelle Blasdel (1st Year Fiction)

The event is free and open to all.